|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (right) receives Australian Senate President Scott Ryan in Hà Nội on Monday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc received Australian Senate President Scott Ryan in Hà Nội on Monday, saying Việt Nam-Australia relations are at their best level ever.
Welcoming his guest’s visit to Việt Nam, Phúc expressed his belief the trip would help consolidate the two countries’ partnership and connections between the two parliaments.
He said the Vietnamese Government would work with its Australian counterpart to realise the joint statement on the establishment of the strategic partnership.
The two sides will maintain existing co-operation mechanisms and implement new ones within the framework of the partnership, including meetings between their foreign ministers, defence ministers and ministers in charge of economic affairs.
Regarding measures to bring bilateral trade and investment on par with the strategic partnership, he said the countries should reduce and remove trade barriers, especially to agricultural and aquatic products like fresh fruit and shrimp, while facilitating each other’s businesses.
Việt Nam and Australia should also enhance co-operation in education-training, culture, tourism, sport and people-to-people exchange.
In particular, they need to strengthen labour co-operation, the PM said, suggesting they make use of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to increase the quota for Vietnamese workers under the Work and Holiday Programme.
The Government leader appreciated Australia’s continued provision of official development assistance (ODA) for Việt Nam, affirming the ODA had always been used effectively and contributed to local development.
PM Phúc also lauded Australia’s defence ties with Việt Nam, especially in training in English and peacekeeping activities. He particularly welcomed assistance in transporting all equipment and servicemen of Việt Nam to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
He asked Australia to keep co-operating with Việt Nam to ensure national security through controlling terrorist individuals or organisations who may take advantage of Australia’s territory to conduct sabotage activities against Việt Nam.
At the meeting, Phúc also hailed the two countries’ close co-ordination at regional and international forums, particularly the UN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN-led mechanisms. He thanked Australia for helping Viet Nam hold the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Year 2017 and pledging to support the nation’s candidacy for non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council for 2020-21.
In 2019, Việt Nam hopes to keep working with Australia to ensure the success of high-level regional meetings like the East Asia Summit, ASEAN-Australia meetings and APEC meetings, he said.
In terms of the East Sea issue, the PM said Việt Nam highly valued and hoped Australia would continue strong support for ASEAN and Việt Nam’s stance in this regard. He called on Australia to promote the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and the early finalisation of a Code of Conduct in the waters.
He also expressed his hope for more support for Việt Nam to improve its sea management capacity, build and carry out maritime policies, and train experts on the law of the sea.
For his part, Ryan said his country paid special attention to co-operation with Việt Nam, noting he was happy bilateral relations are developing.
More and more young Vietnamese have come to study in Australia, which reflected the increasingly solidified trust between the two countries, he said, noting that under the New Colombo Plan, 2,500 Australian lecturers and students would come to Việt Nam, and they would be an important bridge and driving force for bilateral ties in public investment, innovation and education-training.
Regarding thriving parliamentary links, Ryan said he believed that these connections would develop even more comprehensively and strongly in the future. He added Australia always respected Việt Nam’s proposals for enhancing bilateral ties.
He also appreciated the Vietnamese Government’s support for the two countries’ relations and called for more activities to promote partnerships, especially in trade.
Both sides wanted a peaceful and stable region for sustainable economic growth, Ryan said, adding his country always recognised Việt Nam’s efforts in this regard and UN peacekeeping activities.
Ryan said as President of the Australian Senate, he would make utmost efforts to support the Southeast Asian nation’s development and integration into the world. — VNS